Vermont columnist buys AR-15 in parking lot with no paperwork, no background check
SOUTH BURLINGTON, Vt. - A Vermont news columnist says he was able to buy an AR-15 semiautomatic rifle a day after the Orlando nightclub shooting without filling out any paperwork or submitting to a background check.
The actions were all perfectly legal, notes.Paul Heintz, the political editor and columnist for the independent newspaper Seven Days, as he related his story in a June 15 column online: "How I bought an AR-15 in a Five Guys parking lot."
The effort started when he looked online for a gun dealers and emailed one seller at 7:30 a.m. seeking an AR-15.
They met later that day.
"...how about the parking lot by Five Guys right off of Route 7?" the seller wrote according to Heintz's account. "Also, I'm going to need you to bring photo ID."
"Would it be OK if we skipped that step?" Heintz said he replied.
"If you are visibly of-age then yes," he responded.
Heintz's account also relates what happened when he met the seller in the South Burlington parking lot. Heintz brought $500 in cash in an envelope which he exchanged for the gun.
"'Really fun. Really easy to shoot,' the seller said as he showed me how to use it.... We shook hands. I got in my car and drove away."
Not long after, Heintz turned the gun over to the Queen City Police Foundation to be used by the Burlington police in training.
Returning home later that night, he checked his email and saw a message from the man who'd sold him the gun.
"I don't know you, but I trust that you have been watching the news," he wrote. "Please don't make me regret selling that firearm. It was good to meet you, and hope it was just what you were looking for."